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Full Operas - Released March 1, 2015 | Myto Historical

Distinctions 10 de Classica-Répertoire
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Classical - Released May 28, 2013 | Naxos

Booklet Distinctions 10 de Classica-Répertoire
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Classical - Released March 6, 2012 | Phaia Music

Booklet Distinctions 10 de Classica-Répertoire - Choc de Classica
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Art Songs, Mélodies & Lieder - Released March 11, 2011 | harmonia mundi

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Choc du Monde de la Musique - 10 de Classica-Répertoire - Diapason d'or / Arte
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Classical - Released January 22, 2009 | Fuga Libera

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 10 de Classica-Répertoire - 8/10 de Trax
Of all the compositions of Maurice Ravel, it is perhaps in his chamber music that we hear the true distillation of his artistry, the broad range of styles that influenced his composition, and the manifold textures he was able to create with a minimum of instrumentation. From his chamber music repertoire, this Fuga Libera album focuses on the three works for combinations of violin, cello, and piano. Performed by Trio Dali (who takes its name from the Chinese city, not the Spanish artist), the program opens the Piano Trio, in which the Trio Dali quickly establishes itself as a group replete with both technical brilliance and musical depth. The sound quality is warm and sultry, a perfect match for Ravel's intricate and multifaceted trio. Balance is sometimes an issue, with the piano often dominating and covering up the cello in particular. The Sonata for Violin & Cello is performed with equal amounts of precision and introspection, but without the balance issues. Violinist Vineta Sareika and cellist Christian-Pierre La Marca do a remarkable job of blending together; everything from timbre, vibrato, and articulation matches brilliantly. The disc concludes with the Violin Sonata, a work for which Ravel received much criticism but has since garnered much deserved appreciation. The piano asserts itself a bit too much again, but does not create a significant barrier to the violin's clear, piercing sound. Overall, this is certainly an album worth checking out, and the Trio Dali is an ensemble to watch. © TiVo
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Full Operas - Released January 5, 2009 | naïve classique

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 10 de Classica-Répertoire - Exceptional Sound Recording
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Classical - Released November 6, 2008 | Cypres

Distinctions 10 de Classica-Répertoire
Think of works for organ and orchestra and the first piece likely to spring to mind is Saint-Saëns' Third Symphony. This is understandable as this contribution serves as the starting point for most other compositions in this genre. Think a little harder and maybe you'll come up with the Poulenc concerto, maybe Pines of Rome, or even the Barber Toccata Festiva. But there are a host of other works out there, which this Cypres album so eloquently demonstrates. The album does, of course, include Saint-Saëns' Third Symphony, but also the magnificent Symphonie Concertante of Joseph Jongen. A student of Richard Strauss, Jongen was a native of Liege, where Saint-Saëns' symphony was used to inaugurate the organ in the city's Salle Philharmonique. Obviously influenced by Saint-Saëns, Jongen's composition puts much greater emphasis on the organ and almost pits the titanic instrument against the equally immense organ to great effect. The Orchestre Philharmonique de Liege, under the direction of Pascal Rophé, provides an intense, passionate backdrop throughout the work. This interpretation of the Saint-Saëns, while not offering anything truly different, is reliable, warm, and energetic. The overall sound quality of the CD is quite good, providing a clear balance between organ and orchestra. Listeners who enjoy the organ-orchestra genre will no doubt find this album a welcome addition to their collections. © TiVo
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Art Songs - Released October 14, 2008 | harmonia mundi

Distinctions 10 de Classica-Répertoire
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Symphonic Music - Released September 30, 2008 | Chandos

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 10 de Classica-Répertoire - Exceptional Sound Recording
With the three works on this disc, we are dealing with three different aspects of Polish-French-American composer Alexandre Tansman. In the Symphony [No. 2] from 1926, he is a neo-classical modernist à la Les Six with a crisp, vivacious style. In the Symphonie Concertante (Symphony No. 3) from 1931, he is a jazz-age shape-shifter àl a Gershwin with a bright, insouciant style. And in the much later Quatre Mouvement pour orchestre from 1968, he is somewhere past Stravinsky and heading out toward Boulez with a style that travels from harsh dissonance to clashing cacophony. As previously in this series dedicated to Tansman's symphonies, Oleg Caetani and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra play magnificently with more than polished professionalism. There's flash in the colors, muscle in the rhythms, and steadfast conviction in the interpretations. One feels the thrill of the Second Symphony's opening Allegro giusto, the dread in the Quatre Mouvement's opening Notturno, and the joie de vivre of the Sinfonia Concertante's central Tempo americano. Recorded in brilliant digital sound by Chandos, this disc should at least be heard by listeners attracted to the symphonies of Honegger, Roussel, and Dutilleux. © TiVo
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Classical - Released August 28, 2008 | Zig-Zag Territoires

Hi-Res Booklets Distinctions Choc de l'année du Monde de la Musique - Choc du Monde de la Musique - 10 de Classica-Répertoire
Director and violinist Amandine Beyer acknowledges in her booklet notes for this disc that the world may not seem to need another recording of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, but then she tops the bar she has set up by delivering an entirely distinctive reading of the work. Her version, with the Italian historical-instrument group Gli Incogniti (who are not quite as unknown as all that), is as strikingly revisionist as the various turbo-powered, operatic Vivaldi recordings that began coming out of Italy in the 1990s, but it is different in flavor. In her own words, Beyer seeks "lightweight forces and freedom of phrasing." The group is small, with microphones put down right in the middle, and you hear lots of internal lines and interplay rather than contrast between orchestra and soloist. The overall feel is light and agile; Beyer doesn't so much push the tempo (although there's a little of that) as imbue the solo lines with maximum variety, creating a fantasy-like feel. That works quite well with the Four Seasons concertos, which are rendered in a colorful enough way that they evoke many of the images in Vivaldi's accompanying printed sonnets (which would have been a profitable inclusion in the booklet). There are, however, enough startling choices, like the heavily plucked and much-faster-than-Largo central movement of the "Winter" concerto (track 18), that the disc may be more to the tastes of the adventurous than otherwise; sample extensively and decide. The Four Seasons are balanced with other concertos that are quite rare, two of them world premieres. One and possibly more of these works were written for Vivaldi's orchestra of illegitimate girls at the Ospedale della Pietà, and indeed the entire disc is easy to imagine in performance by that presumably small group. The Violin Concerto in B flat major, RV 372, "Per Signora Chiara," and Violin Concerto in B minor, RV 390, are late works that contribute anew to the understanding of how much Vivaldi contributed to the forerunners of Classicism. It may be a bit far out, but this is a fresh Vivaldi disc in every way. © TiVo
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Classical - Released July 29, 2008 | Chandos

Booklet Distinctions 10 de Classica-Répertoire
Pianist Tonya Lemoh, of Australian and Sierra Leonean background, has worked in Germany and Denmark. This, her debut recording, unearths the music of an almost forgotten Austrian composer, Joseph Marx; it includes several world-premiere recordings, from scores provided to Lemoh by Marx's descendants. The music is a worthwhile find. Marx was a contemporary of Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern, and thanks to the conservatism of his music he was also their nemesis. In the post-World War II rush to embrace the music that fascism had attacked, Marx, who rode out the war as a music professor in Vienna, was forgotten. But his music, though conservative, was in no way derivative, and Lemoh gives us an intriguing sampling. Marx has been called a Romantic Impressionist, but that gives a mistaken impression; the sharp formal boundary lines in his music owe nothing to Debussy and his successors. What's superficially impressionistic about his music are the highly chromatic harmonies, but however dense they become they always have a goal in mind. A better comparison would be to say that these pieces resemble what might have happened if Brahms had somehow incorporated Reger's harmonic procedures into his music at the end of his life. A good place to start is with the "Prelude and Fugue," one of the Six Pieces for Piano of 1916 (this is divided into two separate tracks, with the result that the Six Pieces occupy seven tracks). It's a remarkable piece of work, combining an academic form with dense atmospherics and shifting rhythms in a uniquely lush mix that has none of Reger's forbidding quality. There is a sense of beauty in the four short premieres as well; Carneval carries forward the Romantic nocturne tradition in an unexpected way. The music doesn't sound like early Schoenberg or Webern, it doesn't sound like Brahms, and it doesn't sound like Reger. Lemoh gets its curious mixture of soberness and sensuality, and the result announces a significant new keyboard talent. © TiVo
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Classical - Released May 15, 2008 | Mirare

Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc de l'année du Monde de la Musique - Choc du Monde de la Musique - 10 de Classica-Répertoire - Exceptional Sound Recording
Viol player Philippe Pierlot, a veteran of Jordi Savall's Hesperion XX, has also built a rich catalog of recordings on his own, and this 2008 disc coupling François Couperin's Pièces de Violes is another outstanding addition. Performing with violist Emmanuel Balssa, guitarist Eduardo Egüez, and harpsichordist Pierre Hantaï, Pierlot turns in readings that are thoughtful and playful, sorrowful and joyful, depending on the needs of the music. As befits his pedigree, Pierlot has a warm tone, a virtuoso technique, and a flexible sense of rhythm. Though his leadership is subtle, it is no less palpable, and the group's ensemble is tight but relaxed with an emphasis on beauty of tone and depth of interpretation over flash playing and emotional display. This approach suits Couperin's Pièces, which range from the dour to the delighted, but without ever stepping over the line into bathos or pathos. Recorded in close but evocative sound that puts the listener in the same room with the players (rather than close but cool sound that puts the players in the same room as the listener), this disc should be heard by anyone who enjoys the repertoire, the period, the instrument, or the players. © TiVo
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Symphonic Music - Released March 27, 2008 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 10 de Classica-Répertoire - Hi-Res Audio
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Art Songs, Mélodies & Lieder - Released March 25, 2008 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 10 de Classica-Répertoire - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Diamant d'Opéra - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released January 7, 2008 | Warner Classics

Distinctions Diapason d'or - 10 de Classica-Répertoire - Diamant d'Opéra
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Classical - Released January 7, 2008 | Warner Classics

Distinctions Diapason d'or - 10 de Classica-Répertoire - Diamant d'Opéra
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Symphonic Music - Released January 1, 2008 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique - 10 de Classica-Répertoire - Hi-Res Audio
One often reads that Vincent d'Indy was an influential teacher who left a mark in the careers of composers as diverse as Albert Roussel, Erik Satie, Isaac Albéniz, Joseph Canteloube, Darius Milhaud, and Arthur Honegger, to name just a few. Yet his own music has not thrived as well as his students' works, and recordings have been rather spotty for a composer of his reputation. To remedy this, Chandos has initiated a series of d'Indy's orchestral works, and this first volume features three scarce offerings -- Jour d'été à la montagne, Op. 61; La Forêt enchantée, Op. 8; and Souvenirs, Op. 62 -- in sympathetic performances by Rumon Gamba and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. D'Indy's style was in part an outgrowth of Wagnerism, as channeled through César Franck, so the music in these tone poems has a rich, Romantic feeling that clearly derives from those sources. It's possible, too, to hear a little of Debussy's influence in Jour d'été à la montagne and Souvenirs, and the fairy tale appeal of La Forêt enchantée seems traceable to Weber and Berlioz, so there's a lot more to d'Indy's stylistic range than is usually supposed. But to hear in them only these influences is to miss much of d'Indy's originality, especially his impressionistic orchestration and his atmospheric use of melody and unusual harmonies. The Iceland Symphony Orchestra delivers these scores with radiant warmth and shimmering colors, and Gamba inspires the ensemble to play with delicacy and tenderness, emphasizing the magical qualities of these picturesque works. The sound of these recordings is a bit hazy and soft-edged, and the performances have a dreamy ambience due to resonant acoustics and the comparative lack of sharp attacks. © TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2008 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

Distinctions 10 de Classica-Répertoire
Dave Holland's quintets and big bands have set a new high standard for modern mainstream and progressive jazz since the late '90s. While not a new assertion, and considering his entire body of work, Holland has time and time again proven his compositional theorems as valid, accessible, ever interesting, and especially memorable. Using a sextet, upright bassist Holland sets the bar even higher, adding the always tasteful pianist Mulgrew Miller and a four-horn front line that is relentless. This group continues to define jazz perfectly in the 21st century. Evidence is offered in the jaunty opening "The Sum of All Parts," a 5/4 African percussion-based piece led out by the always interesting Robin Eubanks, with folded-in alto and trumpet, witty counterpoint, and the always engaging, joyous sound that Holland has perfected in the past decade. Adding a light samba feel during the upbeat "Fast Track" with the horns in perfect unison, the ensemble shifts up to hard bop, the hip piano of Miller adding to the enjoyability quotient. A 10/8 choppy and bouncy "Modern Times" also uses Brazilian inferences and a clarion call, and has Antonio Hart switching to soprano. On the soulful side, the title track recalls visions of Horace Silver courtesy of Miller -- a groovy, fun boogaloo that has "radio hit" written all over it, while "Lazy Snake" takes the soul element deep underground -- there's one on every Holland CD -- and contrasts it with a suggestion of stark surrealism. Then there's the near 14-minute, free-based, diffuse "Rivers Run" (dedicated to Sam Rivers) accented by the bowed bass of Holland, building in intensity as the horns step up the sonic density in darker hues. Of course, this band can easily drive music hard, as on the post-bopper "Equality," which turns sullen and funky, then swings angularly. "Double Vision" sports a Native American spirit feel in a feature for Hart's stylistic alto, and the serene, lucid ballad "Processional" in 5/4 time is further support to the notion that intellectual music need not be devoid of warm blue notes infused into its fabric. The addition of the wonderful trumpeter Alex Sipiagin, the ever-maturing trombone playing of Eubanks (who wrote "The Sum of All Parts" and "Rivers Run"), and the nearly perfect percussive propulsion of the extraordinary drummer Eric Harland make this band practically unstoppable, and unprecedented in seizing mantles for its sheer talent level. Another triumph among many solid efforts the clearly brilliant and effusive Holland has strung together, this should certainly be a popular item among listeners and critics, and is a strong contender for best jazz CD of 2008. © Michael G. Nastos /TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2008 | Timpani

Distinctions 10 de Répertoire - 10 de Classica-Répertoire - Grand Prix de l'Académie Charles Cros
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Sacred Oratorios - Released January 1, 2008 | Chandos

Booklet Distinctions 10 de Classica-Répertoire
Franz Schmidt's Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln (The Book with Seven Seals) is a powerful setting of texts adapted from the Apocalypse of St. John for six vocalists, choir, organ, and orchestra, and was composed between 1935 and 1937, near the end of the composer's career. In its most potent passages, this oratorio vividly depicts the cataclysmic events described in the Bible's last book, but much of Schmidt's music evokes the Romantic past and draws inspiration from the great works of his time, such as Richard Wagner's operas and Richard Strauss' tone poems, as well as Johannes Brahms' Ein deutsches Requiem and possibly even Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 8. Fans of music on the grand scale will find Schmidt's epic score to be expansive in line, harmonically rich and varied, contrapuntally vigorous, and profoundly majestic in expression, very much a Bach-like summation of the age. Some critics have contended that, because of its most bellicose and dissonant parts, Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln anticipates the horrors of World War II, yet this is only an interpretation after the fact, and it is unlikely that Schmidt had any such premonitions, considering his political naïveté. In terms of musical interpretation, this performance by Kristjan Järvi, the Wiener Singverein, and the Tonkünstler-Orchester is striking in its effects, emotionally disturbing in its violent climaxes, and almost cosmic in its depth and spaciousness, thanks to the multichannel DSD recording and the hybrid SACD format. Forces are audibly spread out, and the voices, choir, and orchestra seem to have vast dimensions, so audiophiles will find this package to be a sonic extravaganza, and the committed performance makes this 2008 Chandos release required listening for Schmidt's admirers. © TiVo